It’s been a busy month of kitchen experimentation.
I couldn’t resist just one more experiment: homemade Cheez-Its. Now, I can’t even remember the last time I ate a Cheez-It. But the recipe looked manageable and recreating such an iconic snack food sounded like fun.
It really was fun, except for the fact that Cheez-It dough is a lot like pie dough, and I’m hopeless at making pie dough. If you’re even halfway competent with dough, you can make these without any fuss at all, but I did a bit of struggling and cursing during the rolling part.
And they really do taste just like Cheez-Its! Mine weren’t quite as crispy, but no matter how long it’s been since I’ve had a Cheez-It, I do remember the taste. Bland at first, then a powerful hit of savory sharp cheese that wafts up into your palate as you chew. Memories…
I declare homemade Cheez-Its a success. These are a simple, tasty appetizer that doesn’t require last minute preparation and can sit out to be nibbled on before dinner.
(slightly adapted from Make the Bread, Buy the Butter by Jennifer Reese)
- ½ cup (1 stick) regular salted butter, cut into small chunks
- ¼ lb sharp cheddar, grated
- pinch of salt
- 1/8 tsp ground pepper
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1 cup plus tbps all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Put butter, cheese, salt, pepper, and cayenne in food processor and pulse until the mixture forms small bits. Add the flour and pulse until well combined. Add the Worcestershire sauce and pulse again. The dough should be moist and come together in your hands.
Turn the dough onto a work surface and knead it once or twice until it forms a ball. Flatten the ball, wrap tightly, and chill for one hour.
Preheat the oven to 350F.
On a floured surface, roll the dough out to ¼ inch thick. This may be easier if you roll the dough between two pieces of parchment paper. Cut the dough into 1 inch strips, then cut the strips into 1-inch squares. Gather and reroll the scraps and continue cutting.
Place on an ungreased cookie sheet. The crackers won’t expand much, so you can fit them closely together. Make a small hole in the center of each cracker with a skewer or toothpick.
Bake for about 15-17 minutes, or until the crackers darken just a bit. Cool completely on a rack and store in an airtight container for up to a week.
Makes about 70 crackers.